UltraRope thumbnail 1
UltraRope thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Design 1900 to Now, Room 74

UltraRope

Lift Cable
2014 (produced)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Traditional steel lift cables are heavy. The longer they are, the heavier they become, which limits the number of floors they can service. The new generation of super-tall towers – such as the 828-metre-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the 72-storey Shard here in London – require transfer floors, where people need to change lifts in order to get to the top.

The KONE UltraRope is a new kind of lift cable, which is technically not a cable at all, but a carbon fibre core contained within a high-friction coating. Super light and super strong, it is able to carry lifts up to 1km, twice the distance currently feasible. The cable eliminates the need for transfer floors and makes the next generation of super-tall towers possible.


The V&A has acquired four lengths of UltraRope, each 2.5m long. A length is comprised of four carbon fibre cores, each 5mm x 3mm, encased in a clear resin high-friction coating. The product has been awarded the 2013 Innovation Award by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a not-for-profit organisation which facilitates the exchange of knowledge on tall buildings.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Cables
  • Cables
  • Cables
  • Cables
Materials and Techniques
Polymer coated carbon fibre cables
Brief Description
4 sections of Kone UltraRope, carbon fibre and polymer elevator cable, 2.5 metres
Physical Description
Carbon fibre core with polymer coating in rectangular strip
Dimensions
  • Width: 2.5cm
  • Depth: 0.4cm
Production typeMass produced
Gallery Label
  • The race ever-upward The ability to build skywards redefined urban architecture in the 20th century. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill is a major architecture firm with some of the world’s tallest buildings to its name, including the 423-metre-tall Chicago skyscraper built for the Trump Organization. In 2013, engineering company KONE developed a carbon fibre rope enabling lifts to travel uninterrupted for 1000 metres, doubling what was previously attainable. Although the new material innovation makes the next generation of super-tall towers possible, careful design consideration needs to be given to the urban enivronment they create, as seen here in the Russian poster. Model for 98-storey building Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago, 2001 Designed by Adrian Smith for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, USA Stacked acrylic Given by Adrian Smith Museum no. CD.25-2017 Carbon fibre rope UltraRope, 2014 Designed and manufactured by KONE, Finland Polymer-coated carbon fibre Given by KONE Corporation Museum no. CD.25:1 to 4-2014 Russian poster calling out changes to the urban environment ‘We are Surrounded Less and Less by Nature and More and More by Buildings’ (translated title), 1989 Designed by J. Zlatopolsky Issued by Plakat, Russia Colour offset lithography on paper Museum no. E.2053-1991 The object sits in the 'Housing and Living' section of the Design 1900-Now gallery opened in June 2021.(2021)
  • 02.05.2014 Traditional steel lift cables are heavy. The longer they are, the heavier they become, which limits the number of floors they can service. The so called new generation of ‘super tall’ towers – such as the 828 metre tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the 72-storey Shard here in London – require transfer floors, where people need to change lifts in order to get to the top. The ‘KONE UltraRope’ is a new kind of lift cable, which is technically not a cable at all, but a carbon fibre core contained within a high-friction coating. Super light and super strong, it is able to carry lifts up to 1km, twice the distance currently feasible. The cable eliminates the need for transfer floors and makes the next generation of super-tall towers possible. Sections of ‘KONE UltraRope’ 2013 Designed in Hyvinkää, Finland Designed and manufactured by KONE Corporation Carbon fibre with high-friction coating Given by KONE Corporation Museum no. CD.25-2015(02/07/2014)
Credit line
Given by KONE Corporation
Summary
Traditional steel lift cables are heavy. The longer they are, the heavier they become, which limits the number of floors they can service. The new generation of super-tall towers – such as the 828-metre-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the 72-storey Shard here in London – require transfer floors, where people need to change lifts in order to get to the top.



The KONE UltraRope is a new kind of lift cable, which is technically not a cable at all, but a carbon fibre core contained within a high-friction coating. Super light and super strong, it is able to carry lifts up to 1km, twice the distance currently feasible. The cable eliminates the need for transfer floors and makes the next generation of super-tall towers possible.





The V&A has acquired four lengths of UltraRope, each 2.5m long. A length is comprised of four carbon fibre cores, each 5mm x 3mm, encased in a clear resin high-friction coating. The product has been awarded the 2013 Innovation Award by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a not-for-profit organisation which facilitates the exchange of knowledge on tall buildings.

Collection
Accession Number
CD.25:1 to 4-2014

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record createdMay 1, 2014
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